England’s Jamie Bower has scored his second win in South Africa, with a hot putter giving him a three-stroke victory in the Southern Cape Open at Mossel Bay.
The 22-year-old from Meltham, Yorkshire, beat par in each of the four rounds, finishing on 12-under to take the trophy. His closest challenger was South Africa’s Jovan Rebula on nine-under while the third placed players were a further three shots back.
“My putter was really hot all week and I think that's the biggest reason why I was able to score well,” said Bower. “Also it was quite windy all week and I think that gave us English players a slight advantage over the locals as we’re more used to it.”
It’s just three weeks since Bower won the North Gauteng Open at Irene Golf Club and his two wins sandwich a third place finish in the African Amateur at Leopard Creek.
He said: “This win is even more pleasing to me than the last one. To say I’m struggling with my swing is probably the wrong word, but I certainly wasn't on it tee to green as I was at Irene a few weeks ago. It was mainly my putter that did the damage this time. So, to still win despite not quite being at my best with my long game is really satisfying for me.”
In the Southern Cape Open Bower was one shot off the pace going into the final round, having scored two-under 70 followed by 68, 70. “One shot behind with 18 to play is nothing, especially with the wind blowing,” he remarked.
“My main goal for the final round was to not make any big mistakes. I knew there was a good chance that other players around me would fall away so I just tried to keep my ball in play as often as I could and let the birdies take care of themselves.” He got to the turn in one-under and flew home in 33 for another 68, with birdies on 13, 16 and 17 putting him out of reach of his challengers.
He added: “I do seem to like it over here! The warm weather is very much a feel good factor, so that helps. I put a lot of work into my game leading up to this tour and it's nice to see some reward for that.”
Nigel Edwards, the England Golf Performance Director, commented: "Jamie’s success in South Africa is a result of the dedication, hard work and commitment to get better over the last number of years. I am delighted for Jamie as he has shown great attitude and determination to succeed and he is now reaping the rewards. I’m sure we will see Jamie continue to progress over the summer, he is a real role model for others to follow."
Bower is part of an England Golf squad touring South Africa, alongside Paul Kinnear (Formby) and Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park). They have two more events to play: the Cape Province Open on 23-25 February at Kingswood Golf Estate and the South African Amateur, 28 Feb-4 March at George Golf Club.
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